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Early Years Research Centre Forum: Promoting policy and service development for integrated ECE services

Date / Time: 18 August 2016
Venue: University of Waikato

This Forum was held on Thursday 18 August 2016 at the University of Waikato and was hosted by the Early Years Research Centre with the aim of developing specific proposals to progress policy and service delivery for integrated ECE services. The Forum was organised by Professor Linda Mitchell (pictured below left).

June McLoughlin from Doveton College in Victoria, Australia (pictured far right) spoke on how Doveton College was borne out of a “Greenfield” opportunity to make a long-term difference for the disadvantaged communities of Doveton and Eumemmerring in Victoria Australia. A unique feature of the model she focused on was the inclusion of an Integrated Family and Children’s Centre on the school site. June highlighted the mix of services delivered by the College promotes children’s health, learning and development from birth to year 9. Children’s needs are identified as early as possible through their frequent interaction with early childhood professionals such as Maternal and Child Health Nurses, Allied Health providers and Early Learning Educators.

There were also presentations from Jeanette Clarkin-Phillips (far left) from the University of Waikato who spoke on Integrated early years services: an initial overview of provision in Aotearoa New Zealand and Donna Kenny (lecturer at te Kuratini Tuwhera the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand) who spoke about her research with Joanne Alderson on Inter-organisational professional partnerships. The afternoon session of the Forum was a panel discussion with researchers, policymakers and practitioners who discussed initiatives and ideas for planning integrated ECE services (including Peter Monteith, Tumaki/ Principal, Tauranga Regional Kindergartens and Amanda Coulston, Chief Executive, Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens pictured above centre and right respectively).

The Forum was a follow on from the Forum held on 18 February this year on the affordances of integrated ECE services, where speakers from Canada, Australia and New Zealand discussed models of early childhood education as a “hub”, in which early childhood education is provided alongside integrated access to inter-disciplinary teams and services.

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